We’re excited to announce the latest issue of our multiple award-winning magazine, The Scented Letter: Fashion, Fragrance & the Future is now LIVE!
Each autumn/winter, our award-winning magazine, The Scented Letter, celebrates the links between fashion and fragrance. But this season, the 64-page magazine has a futuristic edge, as we explore ways that Artificial Intelligence is impacting the world of perfumery.
During the recent torrential summer downpours in the U.K. a phrase oft’ repeated was “…well, it’s good for the gardens!” Which may have been less than welcome to hear while staring forlornly out of the window, but IS true nonetheless.
A bit of sun these last few days has perked us all up no end, and now finally we might wear the summer dress we’d been saving and sit in our own gardens, if we’re lucky enough to have them – sans raincoat and brolly. The thrill! All of this has us appreciating our gardens all the more, and despite the weather, all things garden-centric really has been the trend of the year thus far…
Coinciding with the opening of an extraordinary new outdoor space at the Palace of Versailles, we themed our Summer issue of multi-award-winning magazine, The Scented Letter, around ‘The Perfumer’s Garden’. Talking to green-fingered perfumers, sharing recommendations for scented plants for your garden and showcasing a round-up of glorious modern florals (for the home and for the skin) that evoke gardens or greenhouses – bringing the outdoors in and savouring a garden’s verdancy on your skin, too, is all we want to do right now.
Here’s what you can enjoy in this 60-page PRINT issue celebrating the garden’s ability to inspire and delight…
The Perfumer’s Garden – inspired by a fragrant garden just opened at Versailles, our 10-page florabundant extravaganza celebrates gardens, florists and flower scents
#Smellfie 2023 – to mark International Fragrance Day 2023, our fans and followers got snapping to share their love of perfume
A Working Nose – natural perfumer Delphine Thierry
Gelat-eaux! How to wear one of the ultra-cool new gourmand scents – without smelling like Mr. Whippy
Memories, Dreams, Reflections – British supermodel turned scent and skincare creator Kate Moss shares favourite perfumes and blooms
When Your Back Garden is a Tuberose Field – we join Aurélien Guichard at the harvest-time of this heady flower
Plus, as always, discover ALL the Latest Launches – in home fragrance, as well as perfumes to wear – and get a whiff of news, in Nosing Around
And don’t forget: you can now take out a yearly Print Subscription to The Scented Letter, the world’s only magazine for fragrance-lovers, here.
Meanwhile, can we encourage those of you who THINK you don’t like ‘floral scents’ to explore the contemporary delights of Floral Street’s Discovery Set for only £16? This groundbreaking, hugely sustainable and so-likeable British house has wowed the world with their modern take on a floral – using this family as inspiration rather than slavishly following old-fashioned notions of how such fragrances should smell. Get ready to have your pulse race with these blooming wonderful perfumes…
Wonderland Peony This not only features armfuls of that flower, but pink berries and violets, Anything but cutesy, it’s given a woody-balsamic warmth by cedarwood, alongside vetiver.
Chypre Sublime An utterly modern take on this sophisticated fragrance family, blending incense with Damask rose absolute, midnight violet, pink pepper and geranium, on a stunning base of benzoin, labdanum and olibanum.
Black Lotus The classic English-Rose dressed in a black leather jacket. Intoxicating, spirited, bohemian and alive. Complex and multi-faceted, the sweet honeyed scent of centifolia rose adds depth to lighter, spicy nuances by way of red peppercorn and saffron.
Iris Goddess There’s nothing shy about these violets. An explosion of powdery petals collide with ripe red fruits. Black vanilla, warm musks and earthy carrot seed bring exoticisim and depth, sparkling lemon zest and red chilli pepper add a jolt of life.
London Poppy A love letter to London: a city as tough as ever-lasting poppies. The scent that opens with a bright beam of light. Sicilian Lemon and Florida Orange bring the zing. A salt-spray marine note adds an unexpected sea-facing view.
Neon Rose You will never have smelt flowers like these. Freshly chopped jasmine draped around your neck. Roses around your wrist. And yet no roses were harmed in the making of this showpiece – these buds were cooked up in a lab for extra punch. Crisp, green Angelica leaves bring a botanical dimension, while fresh Bergamot floats overhead.
Wild Vanilla Orchid It’s vanilla, but not as you know it. A raw-edged confection of creamy vanilla beans, blossom, cassis and citrus, dressed in a bunch of just-plucked jasmine. Offsetting the lingering sweetness; bamboo and sandalwood bend and fold underneath.
Ylang Ylang Espresso A strikingly modern blend of red rose, ylang ylang and jasmine cross paths with a soothing cloud of just-brewed coffee, fresh cream and Sichuan pepper – sustainably harvested from the foothills of the Himalayas. A fragrance to get lost in.
PS: It it isn’t just the fragrances which are strikingly innovative, but the packaging. Each of Floral Street’s full-size bottles showcases a stunning, decadent flower artwork by renowned fashion photographer Matthew Donaldson – whose flower-powered photography also adorns this Discovery Box.
Finally, those of you who haven’t yet grabbed out latest Garden of Delights Discovery Box [£23 /£19 for V.I.Ps] should sprinkle the seeds of your new scent addictions via this perfectly curated outdoors-inspired selection. Highgrove Bouquet by Penhaligon’s, created with HRH the Prince Of Wales, now King Charles, draws on his own garden at Highgrove. We’d also love to introduce you to new brands Adscenture, EAU.MG and COSMOSSbyKateMoss and Granado is new to the UK. More newness is provided by Floral Street Sweet Almond Blossom. There are also fragrances from Versace, Molton Brown, Mizensir, Juliette has a gun and Shay&Blue all highlighting various flowers and herbs. We’ve also added SBC Arnica Moisturising Gel for other restorative powers from the garden…
Might we suggest a scent appreciation session is in order, where you can sit and relax, perhaps sip a chilled glass of something lovely, and appreciate sniffing each of these garden-centric scents in turn, while browsing through The Scented Letter magazine? How much more salubrious that sounds than battling the throngs of school-holiday crowds – getting to try a whole new wardrobe of fragrances in your own home (or garden!), and in your own time. Bliss!
The Fragrance Foundation Jasmine Awards 2023 finalists have just been announced, so if you heard a high-pitched sound and dashed to check your fire alarm batteries didn’t need changing – worry not: it was merely the sound of The Perfume Society team squealing with joy!
The Fragrance Foundation says: ‘Launched in the UK in 1990 the Jasmine Awards are recognised as the most prestigious journalistic awards in the beauty industry. They recognise and reward the talents of journalists & visualisers whose difficult task it is to translate the complex art of perfumery into words and pictures.’
That moment of mounting panic when you suddenly realise – you’ve left it too late to post a gift! Uh-oh. But hey, it’s okay – people understand (especially this year with postal strikes and snow causing chaos). Don’t worry: sit back and relax, as we’ve got scent gift solutions you don’t need to post, and which last an entire YEAR…
Here are some ideas that you can ‘gift’ your recipient with immediately, no postage required – simply write them a lovely card and explain you’ve treated them to one of the following (with fragrant swag to follow). If they love to smell great, we guarantee they’ll be delighted…
• Exclusive member’s discount on our Perfume Society Discovery Boxes
• Event Tickets: Early access to events – virtually and in real life…meeting with leading ‘noses’ and key figures from the perfume world.
• Exclusive Competitions: just for VIPs.
Give them the gift of award-winning fragrance journalism:
For people who love print (we must admit to being partial – for longer features, especially), give them a year of fragrant reading with a Scented Letter magazine Print Subscription for £60. The multi-award winning magazine has won prestigious Jasmine Awards by The Fragrance Foundation, and been described as a ‘must-read’ by industry insiders and perfume-lovers alike. We are delighted that in addition to our digital magazine we can now offer this print subscription of The Scented Letter, delivered to their door.
Appearing seasonally, four times a year, this utterly beautiful magazine beguiles with at least 60 pages of in-depth features, perfume news, features and much more is bound to take you ever-deeper into the scented world. In addition, we feature all the breaking scent news, interviews with ‘noses’ and other creators, alongside fragrant features by the world’s leading fragrance writers. To be read time and again, and adorn their coffee table for years to come!
Treat them to a Seasonal Scents Subscription:
‘What are the best fragrances to wear for Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter?’ To answer this we created the Seasonal Scents Subscription, specially curated to help you get the best out of your fragrance and improve your all-important sense of smell. We’ll guide you on the power of trying and wearing perfume, via online Smelling Notes, Unboxing Video, Hints & Tips.
Each box contains fabulous fragrances for anyone to adore, no matter their gender or taste, chosen from leading fragrance houses beloved around the world. The sample sizes include gorgeous miniatures, and will land at your gift recipient’s door each passing season (approximately every three months) – so they will always have a new scent to make them feel fabulous!
You can choose a Quarterly (£18 every three months) or Yearly (£68) plan. We’ll keep the contents a secret until the day the box is launched – we just know they’ll love the surprises inside…
Often referred to as ‘the Oscars of the Fragrance Industry’ – an annual event in which amidst celebrating the industry as a whole, The Fragrance Foundation also take time to give thanks to those who write about and discuss fragrance in engaging and innovative ways. We are utterly thrilled to have made the final line-up again this year with SEVEN nominations, and even more proud to be sharing that space with so many talented individuals.
Here are the pieces that are in the running – we’ve put a link to each article so you can read it in full, something we’re so happy to be able to do with The Scented Letter Magazine now, having taken the decision during lockdown to make this publication available to everyone. Happy reading!
Celestial Scents (Literary Award) Suzy Nightingale – Suzy Nightingale, The Scented Letter Magazine
#smellfie 2021 (Creativity) – The Perfume Society Team, Instagram / The Scented Letter Magazine
The Jasmine Awards 2022 shortlist announcement was part of the seven-day scent-fest of The Fragrance Foundation National Fragrance Week celebrations, the Jasmine Awards ceremony itself is due to be held in May with all winners being announced during the glam-filled affair, when the scent of success (and oodles of perfume, obvs) fills the air.
Until then, we raise a glass to ALL the worthy finalists, in what must have been very difficult decisions for the judges to make. We’re utterly thrilled to have made the finals, and are especially honoured to be among such great names in the industry. Cheers!
Alice du Parcq
‘Desert Island Spritz’ InstaLive with Adam Reed.
Alice du Parcq
‘Desert Island Spritz’ ‘Party Special’ with Sali Hughes.
Making an Impression.
Up, Up and Away
The Perfume Companion
Sarah McCartney & Samantha Scriven
The Perfume Companion
The Perfume Society
Master of Molecules
The Scented Letter
When Soap Equals Hope
The Scented Letter
The Year the World Discovered the Sense of Smell
The Scented Letter
The Stack World
Do you smell expensive
Alice du Parcq
How to make your perfume last longer, if you’re sick of scent fading by lunchtime.
What IS a fougère? Pteridomania & the frenzy for fern fragrances.
Let us Spray.
We Wear Perfume
Amanda Carr & Tamara Fulton
The Long Read : Exhilaration in a bottle, the mood busting power of citrus.
We Wear Perfume
Amanda Carr & Tamara Fulton
The Long Read : The New Rose Revival.
Ingeborg van Lotringen
Scent and Sustainability.
Is AI Threatening the Role of the Perfumer?
Slow Scent – Upcycled Fragrances are the New Movement in Sustainable Perfume.
Alice du Parcq
These alternative summer fragrances get better and better as your skin heats up in the warm weather, and they won’t disappear in minutes.
Olivia de Courcy
Pure, Not Simple.
Give Me Strength: perfumes for a post-lockdown pick-me-up
We’re delighted to launch the latest 52-page edition of The Scented Letter – and as we close the year, it’s a celebration of all things fragrant – the gifts to give, the celestial scents to spritz and the aromas of this very special season.
We’re also celebrating something VERY special: a hat-trick of Jasmine Awards in The Fragrance Foundation, with two for our stellar writer Suzy Nightingale, and a Judges’ Special Recognition Award for one entire edition of the mag, ‘A Life in Scents’, published earlier this year.
Scroll down for a preview of some of the articles, which you can read online here in flickable format, recreating the sense of reading a real-life mag.
Alternatively, we are now able to take orders for a limited run of printed copies of the magazine, priced £12.50 to our VIP Subscribers (£15 to non-VIPs), here. And you can now also buy an annual print subscription to The Scented Letter, here…
Heaven Scents: The Christmas 2021 Gift Guide A stellar selection for everyone on your list – that’s a tick, tick, tick!
In Memories, Dreams & Reflections, leading astrologer Shelley von Strunckel shares a lifetime in fragrant recollections
The ever-brilliant British perfumer Ruth Mastenbroek gives Suzy Nightingale the low-down on her creative working life
Agony uncle James Craven answers your seasonal scent-selection and present-choosing conundrums
Perfumers are looking to the night sky for inspiration to compose fragrances that sparkle, charm and dazzle, reports Suzy Nightingale in Celestial Scents
Founder of Perfume Walks London, Olga Petrouchenko, time-travels to a Russian childhood and a snowy winter holiday
Plus as usual, we bring you all the Latest Launches, news – and so much more
We’re so happy to have Uncle James (a.k.a professional fragrance consultant and expert, James Craven) on board with The Perfume Society. He’s the ‘agony uncle’ here to answer all your perfume problems and solve your scent woes…
In the first partof his answers to your queries, James explained where to spray fragrance to make it last longer and radiate on your skin, and how to go about choosing a ‘seasonal scent’. This time he’s been tapping away at his typewriter to help with questions about allergies and what fragrances might be best to start a budding 15 year old perfumista with.
Don’t forget you can ask your questions using the form below (scroll down) and they might get featured in the next edition of The Scented Letter Magazine. But for now, Uncle James, it’s over to you!
I think I’m allergic to some fragrances as I get a rash on my skin and some make me sneeze. How do I find out what’s causing this, and any suggestions for how I can still enjoy fragrance?
James says: Keep calm. Make a list of all the perfumes that you think have caused adverse reactions. Establish what notes they have in common by reading up on them online (I would of course point you in the direction of The Perfume Society), then by process of trial and error try to discover the ‘joker’ in the pack. The help of an experienced sales assistant in a sympathetic perfumery can be very useful here – and hopefully before very long at all, we will once again be able to venture into stores. Talking it over often clarifies matters no end and sudden enlightenment dawns.
Allergies come and go, often abruptly. Don’t automatically blame chemicals and synthetics: natural organic oils are now recognised as equally liable to be allergenic. Meanwhile you might still enjoy perfume as our ancestors did – anywhere but on the skin, so instead on scarves, the linings of coats, soft furnishings… And remember, sublime fragrances are all around us, not just confined to bottles.
What styles of fragrance might be suitable for a 15-year-old who’s just starting to get into perfume? And how can I tell her to wear it so that it doesn’t overwhelm those around her?
James says: Your young friend is lucky to have you. Most 15-year-olds love analysing themselves so encourage this young woman to do just that. Ask her to define her personality in her own mind, and then introduce her to the most empathetic sales consultant at your favourite perfumery. This maven – if worth her salt – will assist the young person in interpreting and expressing herself via a fragrance that fits like a handmade glove.
Youth is best showcased by light, subtle – but not necessarily naive –scents. We are all allowed a few garish fragrance mistakes as we develop our tastes, and perfume picking should always be fun. But I have found that most teenagers naturally actually tend to shyness and restraint when it comes to choosing and spraying fragrance.
I hope I have not grown cynical with the years – but the surest way to ensure an ingenue will NOT dosomething is to beg her to do that very thing. So maybe pass her the Giorgio and the Poison!
What questions have you always wanted to ask an expert? Put your perfume problems to Uncle James and he’ll get thinking…
Ask James Craven (The 'Perfume Agony Uncle')
Your questions for James Craven, The Perfume Society's 'Perfume Agony Uncle'
‘Helping a client to find the perfect scent requires the combined skills of a psychologist, palmist and priest’ James always (half) jokes, and his career has been defined not only by the vast knowledge he’s gleaned over the years he’s worked in retail as a fragrance expert, but his ability to ‘match’ people to their perfect perfume and answer any number of queries.
Truly, what James doesn’t know about perfume could probably be written on the back of a stamp. His advice is gold dust, and so we’re sprinkling some of that here for you (along with many scented spritzes, of course!)
Where should I apply perfume so that it lasts? I know Marilyn Monroe apparently said she sprayed it wherever she wanted to be kissed, but I’m more interested in smelling fabulous all day!
Uncle James says: ‘Crucially, apply to the pulse points of the body: these radiate heat, thus intensifying the expansion of perfume. But also spray on clean hair: being porous, hair is an excellent retainer and diffuser of scent. (If you’re worried about the alcohol in a perfume drying out hair, try one of the many, many hair fragrances which have been launched in the past few years.
Spray on washable natural fibre clothing and dab perfume on the eyebrows and ankles – yes, really! (They certainly do that in France, where they surely know a thing or two about the delights of parfum.) But please also understand that perfume is a poignantly fleeting pleasure : like a lovely piece of music it enchants and then it fades. Reapplication is a gracious and seductive ritual, not a chore. Enjoy it!’
Is it true that fragrances are seasonal and, if so, which styles of fragrance are best for spring?
Uncle James says: It’s certainly understandable that anyone might want to celebrate the emergence from an especially grim winter with a new scent for a ‘new you’. If you want to personify spring in your own aura, then try leafy greens (see the question below), light woody colognes and fresh florals that echo the stirring natural scents outside. You should always wear what excites and pleases you, and the start of a new season is a great time to kickstart exploring new scents, ingredients and fragrance families.’
Do you have a scent query you need solving? Don’t forget to add your questions for James in the form, below, for the next issue…
Ask James Craven (The 'Perfume Agony Uncle')
Your questions for James Craven, The Perfume Society's 'Perfume Agony Uncle'
We’re ready to celebrate in more ways than one, not the least by saying Happy Birthday, Chanel. Incredibly, N°5 is celebrating 100 years of being adored by celebrities and fragrance fans the world over. We urge you to join in by spritzing some, now, while watching the fragrantly-themed full-length film and resting your eyes on gorgeousness awhile…
‘Its name is universally renowned. Its wake, a revolution. Its bottle, an unmatched masterpiece,’ says Chanel. ‘Created in 1921, N°5 is the best-known perfume in the world. The new episode of Inside CHANEL looks back over 100 years of celebrity.’
Delving deeply into just what makes it so enduringly special, Chanel explains that:
‘From the start, N°5 threw habits and conventions to the wind. At the beginning of the 1920s, Gabrielle Chanel had already changed people’s views on fashion by suggesting a new allure. Her first perfume is consistent with her pioneering designs, simple yet well thought through. Revolutionary in its composition, N°5 is also the first perfume imagined by a woman for women.’
N°5 has spawned many iconic scent memories over the decades, ‘Whether it be Marilyn Monroe turning it into a myth by confessing she only wore a few drops in bed, or Andy Warhol screen printing it as a pop art icon.’ And did you know – N°5 was the perfume to be advertised on TV!
The visual images accompanying N°5 have always been swoonsome, too (just cast your eyes around this page for proof) – inspiring some of the greatest names in photography and cinematography — including Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, Ridley Scott, Jean-Paul Goude or Baz Luhrmann — and has truly ‘become a visual symbol that has never lost touch with the contemporary creative scene.’
The muses have been meticulously chose over these years as well – only those women who can emody the character of the fragrance without overshadowing it, such as Catherine Deneuve, Carole Bouquet, Nicole Kidman or (current ‘face’) Marion Cotillard have been ‘…among the ambassadresses who, by their spirit and modernity, lift N°5 into the eternal feminine pantheon for posterity.’
From being included in museum exhibitions to countless scent memries we all share, we certainly agree that ‘It is a perfume which, like a coat of invisible armor, gives the strength to face life. Backed with its 100 years of celebrity, N°5 will always be one step ahead.’ That’s why we chose to continue the celebrations, while asking trend forecasters and fragrance experts how they think Chanel N°5 will sashay forth in the next 100 years – with a stunning spread in the just-published Perfume’s Bright Future issue of The Scented Letter Magazine.
There’s an ancient city that’s become known as the perfume capital of India. Roses, roses everywhere! If ever you needed an excuse to feast your eyes on beauty, these seemingly endless dull, grey days are immediately brightened by reading this fascinating report by Rachna Sachasinh for National Geographic.
‘For centuries Kannauj (pronounced kunh-nowj), in northeast India’s Ganges belt, has been crafting oil-based botanical perfumes called attar using the world’s oldest known distillation methods,’ the piece begins, and as you gaze in wonder at the carpet of pink blossoms – and imagine with great longing the glorious scent in the air – it’s not hard to understand how the fragrances produced from the Rosa damascena shrubs planted there were soon ‘Sought after by both Mughal royals and everyday folk in ancient India’s fragrance-obsessed culture’, so that the ‘Kannauj attar scented everything from wrists to food, fountains to homes.’
We are thrilled to see the region showcased in the national media, now, for their utterly wonderful roses and fragrances produced from them, because Amanda Carr had already travelled to the city of roses, and last year wrote an exclusive report on The Scents of India for our magazine, The Scented Letter, for which she was nominated for a Jasmine Award, and which you can read in full, here!
It’s worth reminding ourselves that rose fragrances have been worn by both genders for centuries, too – it’s only Western and European cultures who more recently classed rose as ‘female’, and something the fragrance industry has begun to overturn (thank goodness!) by introducing many more rose-centric scents marketed at men or classed as ‘unisex’. We’ve said it many times before but we’ll go on saying it: smells do not have a gender – they’re for everyone who wants to wear them!
Indeed, the more recent National Geographic feature goes on to describe how the rose fragrances produced in Kannauj have proved ‘Equally alluring to men and women,’ because the ‘attars have an androgynous quality. They strike intense floral, woodsy, musky, smoky, green, or grassy notes. Trotted out by season, attars can be both warm (cloves, cardamom, saffron, oud) and cooling (jasmine, pandan, vetiver, marigold).’
I am lucky enough to have a little bottle of the Gulab (Indian Rose) attar from the Saini Blends distillery she visited, and which Amanda very kindly gave me when she returned from her travels. I cannot tell you the utter bliss it has been to wear it – a soft but fully enveloping cloud of powdery, fruity petals that almost smells like Turkish Delight sprinkled with icing sugar. Sheer joy, and a constant comfort to sniff and be reminded not only of our friendship, but of the wider world, of places I want to travel to, of beauty itself.
If you are interested in learning more about attars, I cannot urge you enough to read Amanda’s feature in full – there’s even a section on how to tell the attars apart, and how to order directly from Saini Blends themselves. It’s vital we not only celebrate this ancient art (and the fact that rose fragrances did not bloom unbidden from Grasse, originally) but support those who still work there. Because, as Amanda reported for us, ‘the attar industry in Kannauj has fallen to around 100 artisan makers today, from over 700 at its peak…’